The Subaltern

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Creighton †
1st (Western Ontario) BattalionCreighton

On arrival of the H.Q. Staff of the 8th Battalion at Lt. Col. Creighton’s dugout, a very large calibre shell completely demolished the H.Q. Dugout burying Staffs of both regiments. Lt. Col. Creighton received wounds from which he never recovered consciousness. In this the Division lost a good Officer who had done valuable work that day.

(Gen. Lipsett, 2nd Brig. War Diary, 15 June 1916, 24)

Frank Albro Legion Creighton was born on 6 February 1875 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At the outbreak of the Great War, he was a civil engineer living in Winnipeg. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion as a lieutenant and was promoted to second-in-command in the field. After Lieutenant Colonel F. W. Hill took over the 9th Infantry Brigade, Creighton assumed command of the Western Ontario battalion on 24 January 1916.

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The First

Brigadier General F. W. Hill, D.S.O.
1st (Western Ontario) BattalionHill

There was a bunk in there, and the brigadier was lying there and he was dead drunk. He looked up and mumbled something at me.

It was a pretty disgusting business.

(Lt. G. Rutherford, In Flanders Fields CBC interview, 1963)

Born on 28 July 1866, Frederick William Hill was a lawyer, former mayor of Niagara Falls (1898) and thirty-year member of the 44th Lincoln and Welland Regiment. When the First Contingent assembled at Valcartier in August 1914, Hill was appointed to command the 1st Battalion from Western Ontario.

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The Schemer

Major General Sir David Watson, D.S.O.
2nd (Iron Second) BattalionWatson

Had he not been colonel he would have received the V.C. for this. Ypres made him a marked man, and it left its mark on him. His friends say that he aged ten years in the ten days, for he and his battalion were in the fiercest part of the fighting.

(F. A. McKenzie, Through the Hindenburg Line, 1918, 10)

David Watson was a sportsman, journalist and owner of the Quebec Morning Chronicle. He was born in Quebec City on 7 February 1869. In his youth, Watson played for the Quebec Hockey Club and became active in the 8th Royal Rifles. Watson, a Conservative Party supporter and friend of Militia Minister Sam Hughes, was selected to command the 2nd Battalion when the Canadian Expeditionary Force assembled at Valcartier.

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